Monday, December 06, 2010

Park Service Gets Uppity: Things to Come?

Perhaps it's a straw in the wind.

Progress on building a $668 million bridge across the St. Croix River stalled in October when the National Park Service — reversing an opinion issued five years ago — said the bridge should not be allowed because the river is protected by the U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

...The new bridge, first proposed decades ago, would replace the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge as the main Minnesota-Wisconsin crossing north of Interstate 94 and divert thousands of daily commuters from Stillwater’s historic downtown, routing them instead to Minnesota 36 through Oak Park Heights.

Supporters say a new bridge is needed to address traffic congestion in downtown Stillwater and accommodate growth in western Wisconsin.

Forty years ago, Nelson and Mondale made the St Croix a 'wild and scenic waterway.' The Park Service agreed to allow the new bridge, with restrictions.

Now it has changed its 'mind'.

What actually changed, of course, was the White House's tenant and the nature of Congress.

This little move should be viewed in a larger context. The Feds own vast swaths of the West--where they could impose similar "no-go" rules. And, of course, the Feds' inclination under Obama & Co. is to stifle business, large and small, to achieve 'social nirvana.'

Keep your eyes on the ball.

1 comment:

J. Strupp said...

They can call the Stillwater bridge historic or whatever.

I always drive over it with the window cracked because the thing's completely shot. They should have blown this bridge up and replaced it years ago.

I think it's still rates as one of the least structurally sound bridges in the country.